Up Markets boarding up the Playhouse from Irma
The shuttered Royal Poinciana Playhouse was unprotected Thursday morning as Hurricane Irma barreled toward South Florida.
The windows and doors of the theater and adjacent Celebrity Room, a former restaurant, were bare of shutters or sandbags.
But help was on the way, said Alexandra Patterson, spokeswoman for landlord Up Markets, which controls the Royal Poinciana Plaza under a long-term lease.
“We have directed the on-site team to protect the windows and doors of the Playhouse and celebrity room with plywood,” she said.
Up Markets’ team planned to place sandbags in front of doors property-wide, to close existing shutters and to secure or remove loose objects, she said. Tenants are responsi- ble for protecting their own spaces, she said.
The work was to be done by 5 p.m. Friday, the deadline for evacuating the island under a town order, she said.
The landmarked theater, which has been vacant since 2004, has been the subject of multiple lawsuits attempting to force the plaza owner to reopen it. The Town Council has required regular reports from Up Markets on its progress in finding a tenant. In July, Patterson assured the council that the company expects a letter of intent to lease the theater be executed “any day.”
on-site team was directed to protect the windows and doors.
The Playhouse is protected under a 1979 property-use agreement between the plaza’s owners and the town.
John Page, director of the Planning, Zoning and Building Department, said he was unaware, however, of any legal obligation the plaza management might have to erect storm shutters or to take similar steps to secure the property from hurricane damage.
Staff writer William Kelly contributed to this report.
The Royal Poinciana Playhouse’s windows and doors were unprotected Thursday morning as Hurricane Irma barreled toward South Florida.